Some might dismiss advocacy campaigns, thinking that these require a lot of effort yet yield little to no return. But when properly executed, it can put your brand in a good light and win the favor of people who feel strongly about your cause.
Your Brand is More Than Just the Product
An advocacy helps your brand go beyond the benefits or uses of your product or service. It establishes character and appeals to the good side of people. Showing your brand cares, lets them know that you have a greater purpose than just profit. Philips’ “Simply Healthy” campaign is a great example. A global leader in lighting and electronics, Philips went to the grassroots, approaching families and schoolchildren in various barangays, to promote family nutrition, women’s health, and environmental conservation.
Actions Speak Louder Than Words
If you want to build a good reputation for advocacy, don’t just say it; show it. Advocacy isn’t limited to ads. Follow through with actions that demonstrate you treat your cause seriously. SM Cares has done this through multiple channels, from supporting persons with disabilities to honoring Overseas Filipino Workers.
Implementing an advocacy isn’t as simple as just doing things that you think would help your cause. It requires a holistic approach. Follow these steps to effectively carry it out:
Identify your community
Every advocacy identifies to a certain community. Healthcare advocacies can cater to far-flung towns with no proper medical facilities, while environmental awareness advocacies can apply to urban communities beside rivers or other bodies of water. Start with choosing the community that matches your cause as this will determine how you will educate them, how you will reach out to them, and who you will partner with in addressing their needs.
Educate your community
This step is important because you want your community to fully understand their situation and know why their being helped. This enables sustainability and proper implementation on their end. Furthermore, this makes them not only beneficiaries, but advocators of the cause as well.
Educate through channels that they can relate to. Greenpeace’s Solar Rooftop Challenge campaign message had a broad audience, so it used far-reaching channels like Facebook and online news sites to properly teach about the benefits of renewable energy. For more targeted advocacies, a forum or a lecture might be more effective.
Partner with relevant organizations and communities
Engaging and partnering with other organizations and communities can really help maximize the effects of your advocacy. Working hand-in-hand with other groups allows you to benefit from their expertise or influence, making your advocacy more impactful. Choose one that’s relevant: Safeguard partnering with PAMET is a classic example, having worked together to properly advocate health and hygiene for Filipino families.
Mobilize individuals and consumers
Your consumers have the buying power to drive your advocacy. Mobilize them and make them part of it. One simple and straightforward way of doing this would be by putting a percentage of your profit from products for the cause, involving consumers directly. The PBA did this last year, donating proceeds from its season opener to those affected by Typhoon Lando.
You can mobilize individuals outside your circle as well. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is the perfect example of this. Through video posts by individuals from all over the world on social media, it was able to effectively raise awareness for the disease, resulting in a breakthrough.
Measure your results
Measure the results so you know how much you made a difference with everyone involved. Knowing you all made a positive change fosters togetherness with all the stakeholders and helps build a stronger relationship with your consumers. Here are key questions to ask:
How many communities/people were you able to help?
- How many communities did you move?
- What were the long-term effects of the campaign?
- What were the challenges of the campaign?
- What efforts were effective or ineffective?
Educate your audience and involve others to be effective in implementing your advocacy. When properly executed, you not only improve the reputation of your brand, but build a stronger bond with partners and consumers. And aside from these, you achieve something more important by making a difference in people’s lives.
For more of the storytelling series, follow M2Comms.